NFL

San Diego Chargers Fire Norv Turner and AJ Smith

SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 01:  Head coach Norv Turner of the San Diego Chargers looks on during pregame warmups for the game with the Kansas City Chiefs at Qualcomm Stadium on November 1, 2012 in San Diego, California.  The Chargers won 31-13.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Ben ChodosCorrespondent IIDecember 31, 2012

The San Diego Chargers have decided to part ways with head coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith. From the team's official Twitter account:

Team President Dean Spanos announced that GM A.J. Smith and Head Coach Norv Turner will not return in 2013 chrg.rs/S1VCA7

— San Diego Chargers (@chargers) December 31, 2012

The Chargers went 7-9 this season under Turner and failed to make the playoffs for a third consecutive season. He has not coached the team to a postseason victory since his second year with the team in 2008.

He was hired in 2007 to replace Marty Schottenheimer, who had coached the team to a 14-2 record in the previous year. Despite his success, Schottenheimer was fired because of his contentious relationship with general manager A.J. Smith. 

When hired, Turner had previously been a head coach with the Washington Redskins and the Oakland Raiders. Coming into this season, he had not had a losing record with the Chargers, although the team had finished 8-8 twice under his watch.

Throughout Turner’s tenure, he faced a prevailing sentiment that the team was not performing up to its potential. After starting 4-1 in 2011, the Chargers followed their bye week with six straight losses. Turner was able to coach the team to four victories in its last five games, but this was not enough to reach the playoffs.

This season, the Chargers faced another massively disappointing losing streak that started when they allowed the New Orleans Saints to score 17 unanswered points to finish off a comeback victory. 

But this collapse paled in comparison to the team’s next defeat. Playing at home on Monday Night Football, San Diego took a 24-0 lead in the first half against the Denver Broncos but was shut out for the remainder of the game and lost 35-24.

The Chargers followed up that performance with a pitiful offensive performance against the Cleveland Browns in which they lost 7-6. These losses put Turner in a position in which he faced an uphill battle to save his job.

Despite enjoying unwavering support from Smith throughout his tenure in San Diego, Turner was not able to turn the Chargers' season around enough to avoid being fired.

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